A publican who failed to declare the full extent of his criminal record - including the fact he'd received a prison term - has been placed on a good behaviour bond.
Mark Steven Sewell, 65, represented himself in the Wodonga Magistrates Court this week after signing a liquor licence declaration last November.
He was charged after failing to disclose his criminal history in the licence transfer document.
While the 65-year-old said he had lost his licence in Sydney in August 1971 and faced Parramatta court for a dishonesty offence in 1975 - with a few additional driving matters declared on the form - police checked his priors and found significant omissions.
The court heard a jail term had been imposed in his past.
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Sewell said he had been trying to put that time in his life behind him, and asked why he should have needed to give information about his priors.
"I knew police would be able to get a copy anyway," he said.
But magistrate Peter Dunn said there were many offences on his record.
"Apparently that wasn't the best way of looking at it, was it," he asked Sewell, who agreed.
The court heard there were cases of break-and-enter, stealing and assault, with police submitting his history was far more serious than he had let on.
"It was a lot of years ago," Sewell said.
The court heard a six-month jail term had been imposed, but he denied he'd been to jail.
Sewell said his latest venture had been his retirement plan, but he had given it all up two months ago after bushfires and COVID-19 and was now on a pension.
He said he had run hotels across NSW and had never been questioned on licencing issues.
The 65-year-old was convicted and placed on a good behaviour bond.
Mr Dunn said if he offended during the bond he would return to court and receive a greater penalty.